Women as vanguard of the ecological and anticolonial struggle

This report was published by Make Rojava Green Again on 3 May, 2024

Interview with Berivan Omer and other insights from the ecological conference

Politics of drying out the region, attacks on agriculture, occupation and forest fires in whole Kurdistan. These are some of the topics that had been discussed during the first Ecological Conference of NES.

Dr. Pinar Dinc, Dr. Lina Eklund, Ercan Ayboga, Marcin Skupinski and many others highlighted, with their research works, the different sides of the ecocidal warfare that the Turkish state is carrying out in Kurdistan. Naming the crimes that the Turkish state is carrying out in the region, such as depleting the land, drying and polluting the rivers. These undermine the growth of local crops and force changes in the ways of life of the people. All of this aims to obstacle the continuation of traditions, culture and values, which are the basis for democratic identity and resistance.

After this, Prof. Joost Jongerdan, the Mesopotamia Ecological Movement, and many members of the local institutions and organizations, spoke about the ecological resistance carried on by the population of North-East Syria who organizes itself within the Autonomous Administration.

Problems and possible solutions have been discussed, and the relations between the different participants came out stronger than before with this conference. The perspectives for the ecological work in North-East Syria are more clear and solid now. Steps have been made to bring the ideology and practice of social-ecology together. We report here some of the very meaningful points included in the final declaration of the conference.

  • Building up of communes and people’s councils on the basis of a communal and ecological economy
  • Organization of educations by ecological academies, for all the institutions, in order to strengthen the ecological consciousness
  • Continue and increase the effort in reforestation projects, with a special mention to the right of self -defense of all the living beings and ecosystems
  • Researches to improve the current irrigation systems, and to increase the use of alternative and cleaner sources of energy, moving away from the use of fossil fuels
  • Support the restoration of local herbs and the use of local seeds, against the industrialized monoculture introduced in the past by the regime
  • Strengthen the existing cooperatives and foster the creation of new ones, especially in the agricultural field

Berivan Omer, co-moderator of the conference, and member of the Autonomous Administration, said “There have been some important discussions on the topic of occupation and ecology, how much colonization politic are also politics against ecology.”

We discussed eco-feminism, how women who were vanguards of the Rojava revolution can also become vanguards in creating an ecological life in North-East Syria.

As the Zapatista movement would say “Caminar preguntando” (“Walking while questioning”), this conference shows the will of learning from the experience of the past years, to constantly improve. It represents an important step in the consolidation of the ecological struggle in North-East Syria.

Watch the video for the full interview here.